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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    August 5, 2013
    10:30 - 1:00am EDT  

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literally , she was counting the days until she with -- with ted the love of her life. when you factor in her religious convictions, that's just another take into account. for a minutes left, time quick final question from julie the road from mt. verse non and washington's port city. hello. >> george washington and george may sorry were very good friends. two wives, had anne, and she passed away. and then sara. wondering what the relationship was between martha and either of george mason's wives? >> they were friendly neighbors know, they never became intimate friends. friendship was
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a political casualty. but after the constitutional onvention, which, of course, washington sanctioned and mason it spelled in , many ways an end to their friendship. twitter, george and martha washington, quite the power couple. we close out bringing us full circle, what are the important things for people to the influence of martha washington. >> i think it's important to powerful she and on and how dependent he was her. his achievements were his achievements. him aving her there with made them much more possible. >> i think that's true. defined influence in a way that perhaps contemporary have difficulty understanding. but the fact of the matter is,
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she was the most influential of the earth face with the president of the united states. this says richard norton of george graphy washington patriarch still available if you'd like to learn we've been talking about the book "martha ashington" with the striking portrait of young martha on the cover and widely available for people who want to know more. the partners for this series is the white house historical association. us with a n helping lot of documentary evidence and with our background materials as series.ready for the and we have to say thanks to them as we finish up this first and we have a group of academic advisors. mr. smith is one. you'll see many of them and we them for their help. website with st lots of information. if we've whetted your appetite
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you'd like to learn more, c spahn first ladies.
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obama on rom michelle the role of first ladies throughout history. of available for the price $12.95 plus shipping at c-span.organize/products. a special section "welcome the produced by the white house historical association which chronicles tenure of each of the first ladies. find out more at c-span.org/firstladies. tonight on c-span, wendy davis
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at the national press club. at martha k washington for the first season of first ladies. health news on insurance law.s under the health care democratic state senator wendy davis. delivered remarks at the future press club, her plans, and the filibuster she held against the texas abortion bill. the bill did eventually pass in july. this is just over an hour. [ gavel ] >> good afternoon. welcome to the national press club. i'm a is angela and reporter for the bloomberg news president of the
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national press club. we're committed to our future with our programming such as this while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information, please visit our website at www.press.org. offered too programs the public through a national institute, ournal visit press.org/institute. members, i our would like to welcome our speaker and those of you in the today.e the head table includes our journalists who are club members. if you hear applause in the members i'd note that of the club are attending so lack of just a journalistic objectivity. are features on our member-produced pod casts. the conversation #npclunch. using the
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i will ask as many questions as time permits. to introduce our head table guests. briefly as your name is announced. worthubesdorf, maria, ft. star telegram. david calloway. "usa today," editor in chief. adrian garcia, harris county sheriff. kevin, "washington post," managing editor. honorable rodney ellis, texas state senator. podium, alisonhe manager for roject financial and state news and the national press club speaker committee. for the the speaker moment. the committee member who lunch.ed today's
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thank you, bob. bobby patton, a ft. worth owner of the and l.a. dodgers. executive producer and manager of political for nbc news. reporter with the voice of russia and a blogger "the washington post," "she the people blog. former national press club president. it seems now like the whole country was watching when our literally stood up for her beliefs on the floor of the texas state house. for 14 12 hour, she filibuster a sponsored bill on her feet without being able to sit, drink her desk, or
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water. that temporarily blocked the made her a l and pro choice activists. she began working after school she was 14 to support her siblings. 19, she was a single mother n hopes of creating a better life for her young daughter. she enrolled in community college. soon after, senator davis became attorney in ft. worth and served nine years on the ft. worth city council. recruited to run for the texas senate and defeated a well entrenched incumbent. -- hang on -- she won election in 2008 in race that as considered one of the biggest upsets in texas politics in recent times.
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re-elected in 2012 every rick perry and ther statewide office holder campaigning against her. named freshman legislator of the years in 2009 one of the state's best legislators. she likes to filibuster because one that got her attention, she drew attention to cut in texas schools. set blocked the cuts and the stage to the legislature restoring most of the money in 2018. a steep climb for a democrat in such a red state. e're hoping she might tip her cards here today on what her future might hold. a warm elp me give national press club welcome to senator wendy davis.
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[ applause ] >> thank you. [ applause ] thank you all so much for having me here today. inviting angela, for me to be here. such anleasure to be in esteemed group of people. get nervous when i approach a podium these days. and i'm sure that you obviously happened on june 25 in the texas legislature. of the ase you were one few people who was not live streaming it, i thought i would you t the entire thing for today. so y'all need to get comfortable. seriousness, i'm very honored and so grateful that you're from sted in hearing more me. i'm constantly reminded what a voice,ege it is to have a a voice in a decision that
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ffects everyone's lives and their future. nd though i mean voice figuratively, my initial understanding of the power of actually quite literal. girl, my s a young family tried to spend as much time as we could with my grandparents. they live in a small city called muleshoe. grandfather made his living his entire life as a tenant farmer. in his mid 60s, he stroke.d a massive from that point forward, he ived the rest of his life in a nursing home. he was partially paralyzed and difficult time forming words because of his pral sills. hen my mom and siblings and i would pile into my mom's old and drive olkswagen to muleshoe to visit him, we
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pick him up in the nursling home and keep him in the weekend with us. grandfather , my would beckon me into the kitchen and i would sit with them at micah table, the ones that have the silver band side.goes around the and he would bring a piece of aper out, point very determinedly at it. and i knew my task. a letter ictate to me that he hoped to communicate to friend. nd as you can imagine, he's si sitting there with his legschair, me with my tiny stuck to the plastic chairs in summer tchen on a hot day. it was a lot of hard work, it was slow. could be very, very difficult. it was challenging not just for him but challenging for me as
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well. on those occasions, my start crying, ld which meant that i would start crying too. it's a very hard lesson for a -year-old to witness the despair in her grandfather's face. by the experience drove home a lesson for me, the importance of having a voice. it, ainful it is to lose and how important it is to speak foror those who can't speak themselves and to be true to if they would say could. many of you heard my name for the first time last month when alison said in the last hours in power attempted to pass not just an abortion a bill that would block health care access to
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the state of texas. in the process, the partisan seeking to rob texas women of their voice. at use when women showed up the capitol to testify, and they thousands, many of them were turned away. were unable to give voice to an issue that had a real impact on their lives. that i took the floor morning for the longest 13 hours of my life, i worked with my track down testimony that had been submitted in but had not ring been read. and during the next hours, i ead every single one of their stories out loud. with were real people very, very personal stories to tell. of whom had never ever given voice to their story another human being.
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at first, my staff was worried that i was reading them a little too fast. because 13 hours, as you can imagine, is a long time to fill. amazingly, throughout the ay, as word spread through the capitol about what was happening, our e-mail started illing up with stories that were coming in from women and texas. over the state of in fact, by the time that day over, we received over stories, 16,000 people who were hungering to be had to tell you at some point in the day, i stopped about running out of stories, instead, i started about running out of time. when i stood up at my desk that ay, i had no doubt that filibustering the bill was the right thing to do.
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ut i had no idea it would trigger such an overwhelmingly ositive response around the country. across the state and of course across the country, there was an texas ing of support for women. and the most remarkable thing that it is that stories otherwise never would have been told were national news. that we heard in support of my filibuster that are not the ones we ormally hear amplified in the state of texas. a lot of people who live outside our state are surprised they even exist. the voices in s the state that shout the loudest ones that speak for everyone. that night, the nation was ouroduced to a force within state, a force that's going to ave a lot to say about the
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future of texas take, the shape that america takes. biggest state and the country's second largest outsized e have an influence on the direction of americans and many already see texas as the gateway life.better number one tion's internal n for migration. a lot to be proud of, diverse and fast growing conomy, abundant energy resource, long coastline, low of ployment, and low cost living. there's as importantly, a fervent belief a better our row for ourselves and children is just within our
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reach. seen texans , i've create those tomorrows for themselves and their families. i've seen them raise themselves up by their boot straps and sling backs and in my shoes.by pink running texans work hard. should pay ard work off and the majority of texans state is stronger when it makes investments in help them reach their full potential, and texans areas that we can and must do better. public of every ten school students in the united tates goes to school in texas yet we produce the lowest ercentage of high school graduates in the entire country. our children, 1/4 live in
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poverty. in rag about our economy texas but the highest number of hildren are living without insurance. that's nothing to brag about. we do have a lot to be proud of. joined today by a few of not only leaders who know we can do better but are helping to make texas better. some of them in the county today, commissioner roy brooks. thrilled to be joined by a faith community leader and school board trustee, pastor michael evans. my incredible sbufl sister in texas senate who was the one who asked finally at 10:30 that at what point would it take for a woman's voice to be texas senate. who t frost, joel burns
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represents my old city council justice in ft. worth, of the piece, serge you deleon. at the head table, we have amazing people with us. a little n introduced bit to them. obby patton truly defines what means to be a texas success pioneering true entrepreneur. arris county sheriff adrian garcia and dear friend and senate colleague, rodney ellis. in the remember afternoon of the filibuster, a ator ellis helped me with back brace on the senate floor. say think it's fair to that from this point forward know that senator ellis is has our back. [ applause ] these leaders, amazing leaders,
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part of the growing movement state that is more star and less "lone" and they're roud to talk about how great texas is, they're also ready to alk about how it can be even greater. the majority of texans are ready that conversation. too often oices are rowned out by people in power who provoke division. serious damage to the lives and opportunities to the texans that they claim to represent. low brag about our unemployment while at the same dramatically and underfunding public education. awaytlafl to states as far as california and new york business to texas while at the same time, ignoring he needs in our community
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college and our higher education ystem to make sure that opportunities are available to all of our young texans. nd soon, we know the consequence of that will be that we'll have to travel to other states to import brain power too. not being true to what people in texas are actually saying. people who they claim to represent. it would be just as if i listening to e what my grandfather had to say whatever i down felt. you all know the saying and some of you may know the verne gosden my first is ain't rodeo." and as alison said, this was not my first filibuster. 2011, i took a stand against $5.4 tisan plan to strip billion from our already very
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underfunded public school system. and i don't know if you are this, but after that budget cut went into place, became 49th out of 51, counting dc, in what it's the future of the school children in this country. to filibuster because it helped put us into a special and on where teachers parents finally had an opportunity to come to the and it was be heard very, very important to me that be part of the conversation. why.s i have seen education is bsolutely a path way from poverty. 30 years ago, i could not have imagined standing in front of washington, in d.c. before a group of people like you. because back then my life looked
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very, very different. in fact, it looked a lot like my life. my mom has a sixth grade education. divorced, my parents she had no husband, no financial children to four raise. and every meal that my mother a struggle able was for her. i was 19, i also was married and divorced and raising myself living r in poverty and facing the same hardships that i'd seen my mother face. anyone who believes that everything is bigger in texas that my ee the trailer young daughter and i lived in. was always on the brink of a financial disaster back then. a flat tire on my car meant a belonging to pawn at my local pawnshop.
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often at the grocery store, i would stand at the checkout and have to choose what i would have to put back. for amber was nongaucheble. often for me they were 99 cent tino's pizzas that i would make four rners and meals. experiences like that can vision, ly narrow your can crush your optimism. for me, it came down to a simple calculation. wanted to make a better life for amber, i had a responsibility to improve my own. for a heart full of love for her when i started that journey. working as a receptionist for a pediatrician. even though my paycheck was worth it to work there. i had no health insurance.
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my daughter had free medical care. medicine and she had free formula. one day at work, one of the and dropped a pamphlet on my desk for tarrant college.ommunity and when i opened that pamphlet, it opened a door for me. i had always thought of college belonged to that something else. but that day, i began to believe erhaps it could belong to me too. and the state of texas helped by for a it affordable, even single working mom like me. in addition to going to school, worked full time and i waited tables four nights a it wasn't easy n the texas that i grew up in, it was possible. when i transferred to texas christian university, i received academic and financial needs scholarships that covered the my tuition. but today students who are challenges that
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i once faced are unfortunately able to receive the same kind of assistance from our state. there is so much greater need, so many qualified students in need who simply can't get that because there's not enough to go around. there were other things that my future possible too. health care basic services, i had a women's health care clinic very close to where i lived. for the next few years, that's where i received the entirety of my health care. oday, of course, in texas, partisan legislation on top of years of severe budget cuts has of that access from tens thousands of women across the state. of them has lost the they've th care that ever known. regardless of the politics, i
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agree that ne would is just bad policy. go to i was able to college in law school, i was able to be a part of starting a small businesses and to become part of contributing of my state.conomy and that's how it works. very much to make sure that more people have the chance to do that. and so the challenges that i've taken on as a legislator are things -- t two a path and a voice. i've been characterized by our overnor and some others in the legislature as a bit of a problem, my record is really find solutions. i started my politics on the ft. worth city council. and in texas, we do not run for ocal office with a party affiliation next to our name. so as a consequence we don't
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govern with one either. nd i got in the habit of working on issues that aren't from ered naturals democrats, shell gas drilling to ransportation planning to serving as the chair of our city's economic development fostering a great deal of economic development and public ate partnerships. i was determined to take that austin.ty to it's one of the reasons i ran for the state senate. represent, t i actually, wasn't drawn for a democrat. but the people i represent are a interested in seeing problems solved than they are in labels. they know how seriously i take voice to austin and how willing i am to work done.nyone to get things one thing you should know about the texas capitol is, we don't to cross an aisle to cross party lines because there is no
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aisl we want to work, and when i want to work with one i my republican colleague, simply scoot my chair across the begin. floor and we for example, in the last legislative session, i worked bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to pass equal work, equal work r legislation. but even though there were republican lawmakers who were work with me to see right, justice made governor perry in what was an partisan movie toed that bill. hat not only undercuts the potential of texas women, it also makes texas an attractive do business. texas families are paying the price. there, i understand ow precious those few dollars can be. how very much of a difference they can make. one of my why another
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very real passions has been consumer reform. f you've ever had to go to a pawnshop or a payday lender in that, and i have, you know texas is the wild, wild west when it comes to the predator lending industry. thistate turns its head as industry siphons precious dollars from local economies and hard-working familying into a cycle of debt that they cannot escape. closely with an unlikely coalition of folks to issue, from s this the christian life commission to aarp, to the defense department because of the fact members any military are subjected to those practices. also worked to ensure state agencies operate with oversight, transparency, and a commitment
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to being an effective steward of dollars. in texas, some of the elected officials have turned the state cash cows and favor factories to further their and to reward those donors. and for all of the rhetoric and hear it, about big government and small government -- think want what i everyone wants -- they just want to see good government. i've continued to take on issues that people don't always democrats.ith these problems don't have a party affiliation and the either. shouldn't i championed the needs of returning veterans, veterans richard. after returning from iraq, richard like many suffering from stress of war found himself in the criminal justice system. senator van deput and i helped veterans' courts to recognize the service and unique
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and prioritize treatment and counseling for them. back on the erans feet and back on our job force. it's a strong advocate for transportation and water grow our ture to economy. for the natural gas industry to transport gas and waste fluids from fraking to transport d that valuable gas and waste water through the pipelines in way.tate's right of and i fought to help rate victims like christi to make that the state is getting sexual predators off of the kitet by testing every rape on an evidence room shelf. [ applause ] it's, of course, a very to make our community safer and to provide
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the ms and their families comfort of knowing that their attackers would be prosecuted. those are a few examples of how it is to find common ground. with ant to leave you this. i will seek common ground. because we all must. sometimes you have to take a stand on sacred ground. liberty, the freedom to choose what your future will hold. the past few weeks, i've had so many young women tell me how meant to them to see me stand up for them. alongside tanding them. and after the filibuster, i've to me e than a few come and simply cry. tears t i see in their are not tears of defeat. nstead, it's their
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understanding that even if only voices ort while, their as much as mine made a difference in the landscape of what was happening in the state of texas. hey were feeling the empowerment of discovery. moment of realization that they had a voice. it's a powerful feeling. i know because they remember the irst moment that i discovered my own. you may think that that moment ame when i walked across the stage at harvard law school to accept my diploma, or you may i raised my when hand for the first time to be sworn into public office. actually, it happened when i was standing in front of a book county tarrant community college. very g what was to be my first college book. i will never forget the feeling
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book in my hands. and s an incredible overpowering moment. anyone in myr than family had ever gotten and farther than i had ever hoped myself. i know how proud my father was. because i know how proud i was girls on their first day of college. every texan deserves that moment. deserves a voice. and every texan needs to know belongs to all of us and we all can play a role in shaping it. the leaders who capture this ones who l be the write the next chapter in texas' story. in america's story. as i learned sitting at the with my able
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grandfather, the task may not be may not be easy. but it's important. essential. and together it can be done. thank you very, very much. [ applause ] >> thank you. we have a lot of questions and many of them, as you might the same re along themes. so let's just get this out of away.ay right you mentioned your feud with rick perry. are you thinking about running
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succeed him as governor? >> well, a lot of people are sking me that question lately as you can imagine. nd i'm working very hard to decide what my next steps will be. i do think that in texas, people we need a change from very ry fractured, partisan leadership that we're government r state right now. > what about a bid for a statewide office other than governor. u.s. senator or lieutenant most or, easily the powerful office in texas. > i can say with absolute certainty i will run for one of offices, either my or the senate seat governor. >> one more question along these lines. would you consider running as a v.p. candidate with hillary clinton?
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>> well -- [ applause ] that, i would o say we'll have to find out if hillary is planning to run for president first. >> you obviously are having a in the spotlight or happy to be here today. potential electoral future, what request can you next?y this into >> i think the most extraordinary outcome from the the filibuster is what i talked about in my speech. things going about the they need to be addressed in texas. it isn't just about reproductive rights. that day was about reproductive rights. he vacuum of leadership that's happening there. it's about the failure of our currently rs who are empowered to be connected to
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texas families want to see. number it's the dramatic of folks in texas that don't have health insurance. dramatic 's the defunding of public education a battle in us into the court system in texas for the last year and a half or so. whether it's a failure to invest education. texas really isn't listening to families. and i think we see it. when you look at the voter turnout in the state of texas, abysmally low. attributed it can be to the fact that so many people feel disconnected. doesn't like it matter. and that even if they articipate in that democratic process, it won't make a difference. comes any outcome for me in the moment in the spotlight that the filibuster provided, it
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that i to make sure play a part in changing that in texas. filibuster, t the the question to ask, which would you rules consider when talking about the filibuster. many you helped for so hours or those it might have hurt. > rules in texas senate for a filibuster are different than here in d.c. in libuster is a filibuster the texas senate. it's a test of physical and endurance. the person conducting the ilibuster -- i'm touching the podium right now. i could not touch my desk. nowater, no bathroom breaks, food. you must talk continuously and you must talk on topic at least so.tively that had been the tradition in the texas senate. it's been respected -- very respected as a tradition of that
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because it is such a test of physical and mental endurance. but the filibuster i conducted, think senator ellis and senator van deput would agree, they've been there a lot longer have, it was subjected to an extraordinary scrutiny that occurred before. the day before i started the barientos , senator who was quite well known for in the texas bills senate came in and gave me some advice. it's not that bad, you can lean your desk. you can have a few hard candies in your pocket. eople on occasion have been known to give their colleagues ice chips on the senate floor. it will be fine. you know,n read just, anything that you want. because, you know, you're not challenged on that. leave the phone book, read a book. t didn't take very long that that wasn't exactly the response i was going to receive from many
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the senate gues in that day. a not only were we held to very extraordinary level of adherence to the senate rules in say, but i t they think many would agree that the completely broken in order to bring an end to the filibuster that night. what we saw with that were two things -- one, when i was halted while debate occurred on the -- filibuster for the next our and a half, we saw my democratic senate colleagues rules so masterfully to argue parliamentary procedure. believe me, we were watching the clock, ticking, ticking, ticking. every moment. succeeding in taking the people
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sat ng down the field, we in the gallery all day long, so respectful. you could hear a pin drop in the senate chamber that day. the gallery was completely filled. enough of y had had not seeing adherence and respect the senate rules by the presiding officer and by many others in the chamber. nd i think they ultimately couldn't respect those rules anymore than themselves. comment set them off. it was a beautiful moment in democracy. force of voice and such a wonder to see that at time, for that point in they were able to stop a bad piece of legislation from passing. >> now, the legislation was described in shorthand as banning abortion after 20 weeks. can you describe given a
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today.l audience we need texas politicians and reporters. what's included and what's the most damaging provisions in that measure? republicans would like everybody to believe that that the bill was about. but in texas, .57% of those occur after 20 weeks and the dramatic number of those well uations where a very loved, very much wanted baby has severe nd to have very problems. nd instead what the bill was really about -- and it's been disappointing that it hasn't conversation. the it was really about closing a very access to important health care service in he state of texas because the clinics in many instances are purpose. by the rules, there are three other pieces. ambulatory surgical
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center standards would have to sponsored to though the of the bill couldn't point to a single reason about those rules clinics any ke safer and in fact couldn't point to any problems that existed in texas clinics. highly regulated there. in fact, by moving them to that standard now rather than eing inspected once a year, which they're currently required to do, they'll only be inspected and a hree to six years lot of us had a hard time understanding how that was going safer for climate women. damaging is the fact that doctors must be to practice, admitting privileges at a hospital within a short distance of these clinics. and, again, no real reason could be provided why that was important. than what it will do.
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nd i think clearly those who advocated for it understand what severely constrain the practitioners in the arena thereby constrain the service. way the ru-486 drug can be administered. it's a drug used in the very arly stages in a preg man nancy. and right now under the law, a doctor administers it to a taken but o that are they're taken at home in the privacy of the patient's home. do many patients select to that. many women select to do that. in texas now, that first dose be given at an ambulatory surgical center. can describe why that needs to happen. and the second dose must also a ambulatory surgical center. and then the woman must come weeks later for a follow-up visit and prior to because of the
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law that passed last session, he also has to have had a sonogram. that 's the four visits a woman must now make. women who are travelling great distance, many have to in a state as large as texas and many ularly now that so clinics will close -- it's estimated that 37 of the 42 will close, women literally are going to lose to care.ess and what was most distressing it is that the american ollege of obstetrics and gynecologists argued vociferously against that bill nd urged us to understand that this was going to have a very dramatic and negative impact on women's health in texas. and yet, they were ignored. a lot more to that bill obviously than they'd like for you to think there was. >> could you discuss what legal limits on abortion you do
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support. the supreme court has made that decision. and it was one of the protected iberties under our constitution. and i respect the constitutional place today n whether it be for this purpose or other protected purposes in the constitution. i don't think we can pick and choose. >> little girls and boys who may elected erve as an official, what advice do can you have for them. >> the thing i find most wonderful about serving has been that two pieces of my life have come together in a way me. i feel is perfect for one is my journey to get here. and the heart and the understanding that i have for people. also the incredibly excellent education that i was able to receive.
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combined, i ngs think, have really served me well and my public service capacity. so for anyone wishing to pursue a public service career, i would ask them first to listen to their heart. that at it is truly they're passionate about. and that motivates them. and get a good education. texas efully one day in we'll be providing more and more of those for young people to be along find their way that path. politics. texas what is your reaction to the fact that governor perry is a 2016 repeat of a presidential bid. >> the three responses to that. i'm going to all say about that. > would you like to give us those responses? >> whether or not you run, what
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tatewide office do you think democrats have the best chance of winning in texas? the u know, i think question really is what chance of winning rs have elected office in the state of texas. i think the best place to start conversation is to talk about what texans want to see in government. and not to talk about it in party frames. i represent a senate district that many consider to be a one.lican it's certainly a swing district at least. and the people i represent have to have ted conversations about party. they want to have conversations problems and what have my proposed solutions for those are.lems so the best chance we have of bringing new leadership in we'll look a lot like that. texas from eeping
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shaving more growth? hy is it so hard for the democrats to win statewide office. >> first of all, people have to run. second of all, i think back to a have they made earlier, we a very, very low voter participation in texas. certainly know that our current attorney general has actually, to can, depress that as much as possible. i think it's an opportunity not o again to be thinking of this as red or purple or blue, but to in terms ofabout it speaking to the true value that and families hold hopefully encouraging and inspiring them in a way that they feel engaged to participate again. >> a couple of questions about when they think democrats might parity in texas with republicans and one question
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follow-up, when do you think actions like the voter i.d. law would delay that. obviously will recollects be at the choice of voters. i think that the principles that in texas stand for today align more closely with texas families. think what we see in texas, we've seen all over the country. districts have been drawn hrough redistricting processes that have taken place over the last couple of decades that now only take place at the extreme party level. o in texas where the dramatic number of our districts are republican, the only conversations that are really had in the political arena, which, of course, is the best place for public discourse issues, are taking place at the very far right extreme. it's not reflective of who are.e in texas really
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i think parity will come, once again, not to keep repeating the same answer, but to be able to engage with people at their get s and hopefully tot them to think about things in a new way. >> how does the democratic party texas attractive to hispanics while advocating strong pro choice policies? >> the latino community in texas no different than the angulo or the african-american community. leaders who care about nd work on the things that matter to families. when you poll texan, for to see everyone wants us prioritize education. everyone wants to see us prior titz economic development. wants to prioritize to ng health care available
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all. linesvalues across ethnic and can certainly and absolutely are being nly today far better represented than the democrats in texas than they are elsewhere. > we don't know yet whether hillary clinton will run. if she does, does she have a texas in 20106 and would you like her to run. hillary clinton has a chance to do just about anything she sets her mind to. so of course i would admire her be rt in that regard and tremendously respectful of that. lot of buzz about the castro brothers in texas. hich one do you think has a chance of winning statewide office. extraordinary h people, julian and joaquin. e're so lucky to have young
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emerging leaders like them in texas. i think the sky's the limit for them. to incredible opportunity have and the moment they set heir sights on something, they're going to see it happen. >> would you like to see cecille return to texas and run for statewide office. > she's such an extraordinary human being. we've gotten to spend a lot of time as you can imagine in the last few weeks because of the we've been talking about in texas. confronting she's this battle as the executive of over the renthood all country. e has a special place in his heart for texas because of ann richards and cecille and her worked so incredibly hard to help ann get elected, true believers when it comes to grassroots
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organizing.s and they're true believers in the fact that we can have leaders real people inct real communities all over the state of texas. cecille, like the castro brothers, i think she sets her mind to something, she's going do it. so i would welcome her back to texas. i'll sign up for her campaign if she wants to run. >> you mentioned redistricting well as other states in texas. do you believe that the court-ordered interim redistricting lines ratified by the legislature in the first special the voting ated rights act? and if so, why? believe that y do they violate the voting rights act. the reason -- i'm not sure you're aware of the distinction texas holds right now. t's not one for us to be bragging about it. the distinction that we hold is
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that they y state went through redistricting and a challenge but where intentional discrimination was found. our ieve in the drawing of conversational maps. o i think because of that discrimination. to the l be subject challenge despite the threat to section five that shelby county proposed. voting rights act is still alive. the only piece of it that may go with that decision is the injunctive relief that it provided. the court the day, will be consistent of the viewings and the voting rights that to find one that's valid. >> there's a lot of question
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war on women., is there a real phenomenon. in this le of examples session of why people are feeling this way. one, of course, is the issue of reproductive rights. a number of on things of a number of things in texas. the prior legislation, there were two distinct challenges on women's health care in texas. one was a challenge to the women's health care program we were getting 90 cents federal dollar from our tax dollars returning to texas and pport women's health texas legislative leaders who are in power today closed the door to that. we turned that money away. it was about $36 million a year costing us dramatically more in the increase in medicaid births that occurred as a consequence of that.
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the was a dramatic cut to state-supported funding for women's health care in texas. in mind, these are family planning clinics. do n's health clinics that nothing but that. we're not talking about rights here. these are clinics that are roviding birth control family planning, mammograms, providing other cancer screenings and and diabetes screenings, and, again, for many case for me, he the only place where women are eceiving their health care in texas. and about 2/3 of the funding for in the 2011 ve budget. and literally, within months, all over the state of texas started closing. 56 ink at last count had clinics that have closed. no return of en that service for women since that time.
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in spite of the fact that we thed money to the budget in last legislative session to netmmodate that, the safety is so badly fractured that it and in the ny years meantime many women will go without having their health care needs addressed. the last legislative session, the equal pay for equal work work, t was a lot of wasn't it, senator. trying to get that bill out of of the house. out but we did it. coalitiona bipartisan and we made it happen. veto the bill and to demonstrate that he didn't think it was an important issue, that he didn't understand how very valuable that is, not are single n who head of house holds, women who are part of a two-party working for a family, how badly it hurts him. he showed that he's completely
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reality ofd from the what's happening to women in the of texas today. >> we are almost out of time. but before asking the last have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all, i'd like to remind you of the upcoming speakers. r. eptember 10, thomas friedman, the director of the service of disease control and prevention, we have mary fallon, governor of oklahoma and vice chairwoman of the governor's association. and on november 11, we have walt ettinger, president and ceo of the charles schwab corporation. second, i would like to present with the traditional national press club coffee mug see on the tvt to on the desk if there's another filibuster. >> thank you so much. thank you. and for the final question, most of you in the audience can't see
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shoes that are on today, but i can tell you they're not pink this was they're cream colored, open-toed slingbacks. but we want to know, what's of the pink me sneakers. >> well to the horror of a couple of people on my political i immediately put them back on and started running on the trail again with them. point before they completely fall apart, i'll set them aside. memory that'll be a i will treasure forever. >> thank you. coming today.for i'd also like to thank the national press club staff, our journalism institute and broadcast center for helping to organize today's event. reminder.e you can find information about the press club on our website. copy, find it there as well at
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www.press.organize. thank you, we are adjourned.
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. > on sunday, the state department announced 19 diplomatic posts in the middle
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east would be closed until the of the week. they cited what they called an abundance of caution. marie harf spoke about a to egypt and p iran's newest president. this portion of the briefing is about 20 minutes. you confirm any reports burns puty secretary accompanied by eu envoy and ministers have met with shelter today in prison? >> yes, i can. so late yesterday evening, burns along with the qatar and the n representative leon, detained al shatar. this visit was conducted in the diplomatic ngoing efforts to promote further
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iolence, calm tensions and inclusive dialogue on egyptians that can help with a civilian ally government. i can say this was done with the of authorities. >> is there any plan they were discussing with the parties there? said, thishat i just was a diplomatic exchange given the situation is evolving and fluid. i'm not going to get to more substance than that. the deputy secretary is making points we made repeatedly, that we all are ncouraging the egyptians to be part of an inclusive provesz hat includes the muslim brotherhood and those points will be made in the variety of well. s on the ground as >> is it possible they will not or will he not see him? >> there are no plans for him to meet with him. --would you >> hold on a second. >> has he said he won't meet him. >> i won't get into the specifics of schedule making. plans to see
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morici. >> is it true he may not take lady ashton. >> the brief was to meet with a wide range of egyptians. meetings i'm r of happy to list for you as. we the brief is to go there and about how egyptians we can assist them in the process of calming tensions and oving forward with the inclusive process. >> how long was that meeting with al-shatar. i can try to find out. >> we understand it's a brief meeting and he said to them they him, not be talking to they should be talking to morsi. >> i have the information i have here. more attempt to get information about that meeting. but he's -- i think the comments is making ced there the u.s. is t willing to help the egyptians them get back to the process. that's why the deputy secretary days of for the meetings. >> there's a limited time could mean clearing the the
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square and so on. how far do you feel these discussions have gone. they gone far enough to feel that they're on a good track. do.there's a good work to we have the goal of helping to et the egyptians get back to a clearly identified inclusive government. we're not there. steps d encourage any that would build trust between the different sides, that moved towards a more inclusive that's what deputy secretary burns is discussing in he wide range of meetings that he's having there and will continue to have throughout the week. >> in this meeting with the muslim f the brotherhood, did he send the message that it's time to call protests and bring the people back off of the streets? ecause that was clearly the message of kathy aston when she met with him. she's n, the message sending is the message we've been sending all along, there's
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them to be a or part of the inclusive process. it's best for the people of process and the for the muslim brotherhood to be part of that going forward. details.r the he's continuing to make the point and everyone else about of an inclusive president. on the grandomment bargain whereby the brotherhood last een imprison in the few weeks are released including former president morsi and, in fact, one step towards what they call the road map and having inclusive elections and so on? broadly speaking, we've alled repeatedly for an end to politically motivated and arbitrary arrests. we've been clear. the position on that has not changed. except for the egyptians themselves to decide the best path forward in terms of how to an inclusive process but we would support any step that builds trust, that helps them back on that -- back on that path to inclusivity.
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what you just ke said as confirming there there ay be a plan in the making to do just that? >> i don't think you should take it that way at all. i was speaking broadly. a comment on the reports that you're referencing there other than to say, again, broadly speaking we've called from the beginning. yes? >> the meetings of the deputy? mm-hmm. >> secretary burns, what are they -- who are these people met, not just to make a comparison, but what egyptians are saying and americans are i is aing? i'm happy to read the list. so earlier on in this trip, he with eu special representative leon. president monsieur, el bar die, interim foreign fami, al-cici. cutry form and the uae state minister of foreign ffairs and members of the coalition for the legitimacy. e also met separately with
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interim prime minister el-balbloi and deputy prime minister adin. meetings. the list of he's still there. there may be something to relay. much as we reported that today both senators mccain lindsey are -- or graham are going to be dead. is there a kind of consultation together? is everybody going to be a track?nt >> deputy secretary burns will there.ting with them he has a lot of meetings. we support any effort to reduce political polarization. deputy secretary will be meeting with the senators on the ground when they're there. >> yes, please. can i -- -- >> yes, one second. yes? there any time frame of how long is the deputy secretary is it going to be there? is it just an open -- as long as it is coming to them.
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--may stay and >> we don't have any return travel to announce at this point. there.ains i will let you know. >> another thing which is it was noticed that it's different from somehow -- somehow different from last trip he made to egypt. >> mm-mmm. which is as long as i know, there's not any planned press statement that's going to be coming out of this trip. is it right what i'm saying? or if i'm wrong, please correct me? >> we don't have any press vailabilities to announce at this point. i know he did one last time. i will let you know if that changes. >>. [ inaudible question ] he was not involved with this -- he's been with you every step of the way. secretary burns did not meet with the presenters. on.et with others and so but not with -- his headquarters are in cairo. the ground.l on maybe more meetings to announce tomorrow. a broad 's met with
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spectrum of egyptian leaders and people who are involve in this process. are more , if there meetings to announce, i will do so. >> what's the political behind meeting or not meeting with president morsi. s there a concern in this building about legitimizing someone who was rumored to not favored by the u.s. government? or is there the larger question his safety and well eing so that there isn't some attendant spill on violence if something were to happen to him. >> yes. i wouldn't want to get more in decision making on how we put together our schedules here. we're happy that he had the meeting with representative of it was muslim just rhood that i mentioned but again i'm not going to get to specifics about how we make decisions on the schedule. yes? >> does the united states say morsi should have or could have a political role
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for. ou're calling >> it's up to the egyptian people to decide what their government will look like when return to a democratically civilian government. not for the united states to endorse a party or candidate. we've been clear from the beginning. thing that we said is it needs to be an inclusive process. for the at, up egyptians to decide what it looks like. >> again, because of opportunity. >> again, i'm not going to make decisions from the podium for the egyptian people. it's up to the egyptian people to decide what the government will look like. we have said that all parties eed to play a role in this process. >> by excluding the meeting with aren't you rsi, saying that he's not -- you don't think he should be part of process. >> the deputy is meeting with a wide range of people. beth. the deposed >> he met with the muslim brotherhood, an important making the he's same for all of them, that the future of the government is
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people. by the egyptian we're not taking a side or picking a party. he's making that point to everybody. >> a large swath of egyptians are calling for the return of president morsi. lot of people in egypt think he should be part of the process. them to it's up to decide it what the process is going forward. say it should be inclusive. beyond that, it's not for us to like.e what it should look it's up to them. >> they should be talking to said, yet, we're not. >> we're going to keep talking to all parties and all groups. don't have more details for you on how we're making decisions on who we're meeting with. we're making the same points publicly that we are privately we want the process going forward to include all groups. and that would include the brotherhood. >> could you say specifically whether you're opposed to a morsi or ith president not? >> at this point, there are no least-- let me finish, at
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let me finish. there are no plans for him to. 'm not going to make a broad statement about whether or not we're willing to meet with one person. we said we're willing to work parties and groups to be part of this process. >> if the muslim brotherhood the leader rson as of the party right now, why won't you meet with him? deputy secretary burns has no plans to meet with him. i'm not making a broad statement at some point in the future there might be a meeting. not going to make a broad like that. on >> let me try it another way. takingu.s. is indeed not sides, wouldn't it ens hans the .s.' credibility more particularly with the millions of people in the streets to esting they are trying act as an honest broker in this crisis. we're acting as an honest broker. the deputy secretary met with the muslim brotherhood. everyone said, he only had a meeting.ll, not a
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now we didn't have a meeting. you said that's not enough. oftalking about the deposing an elected leader and clearly the conflict is between this and those in the interim government who are now ostensibly in charge and hreatening to remove people by force. >> i'm not going to characterize what the conflict is on the ground. think it's clear that there's a lot of political polarization. >> how can the u.s. say it's not wants to es that it act as an honest broker in order it esolve this crisis if won't meet with the central figure? >> again, we met with the epresentatives of the muslim brotherhood. in this trip that the deputy secretary did, that's important. the broad swath of leaders from the other parties and the interim government as well. e're going to continue our engagement with all of the parties part of this process going forward. i wouldn't read too much into what one meeting is or isn't he's still there. more meetings will happen in the week. of here is a symbolic value
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someone as high-ranking as secretary burns meeting with other reason than to report to his millions of supporters that i have seen him, the u.s. government has had a evaluate his situation, and we can report x or y or z. into thet going to get decision-making that went into developing the deputy secretary's schedule. think it's important in a he's had meetings with high-level government officials, met with representatives of ifferent parties including the muslim brotherhood. an ongoing dialogue with the wouldn'tof egypt and i draw broad generalizations based on one meeting and whether or not it occurred. status omination -- the thought to ion of a egypt. >> is there a question? >> could you comment? >> i have no personnel announcements to make at this point on who the next ambassador to egypt will be. said this i think before, ambassador ford is a career long-serving diplomat who
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in demanding and dangerous posts, very well respected by his state colleagues, also his foreign counterparts. but no announcements to make on that. on that nnouncement will come from the white house. >> is it likely that we'll see he ambassador ford shift his focus from syria to egypt? >> again, no personnel decisions to make. fully engagedd is on issues involving syria. yes? >> one second. the plans for now on deputy secretary burns with morsi. to meet but could that change? you're not saying that's it. that's -- he's still on the ground. >> still on the ground. >> is that possible that he could change? into a 't want to get hypothetical about whether or not that might change. i'm not trying to dance around it. no plans at this point to meet with him. but you're right, he's still on he ground and if we have additional meetings to announce, he will do so. >> yes, please. you mentioned the word
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brokers" in the issue of involvement in egypt. if anyone wants to explain to egyptians what does this mean? how -- what should you -- what's the role of the united states in s?ptian affair >> well, i think it's what we've said all along. historical a long partnership with the egyptian people and the egyptian government. and that we are going to work and assist them in any way we can to help them get back inclusive, democratic process that elects a civilian sustainable d is going forward. so deputy secretary burns is discussing those issues right now. how we can best assist in that process. one of the things that i think is to important for us consistently say throughout this process that we do not support group.ty, one we don't determine what the egyptian party should look like going forward. in no way our role. >> yes, please. published withas the interview with general asisi
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raised the issue through the interview at "the washington have an influence on -- on muslim brotherhood so them to change their attitude. what's your comment on that? >> well, we've seen the interview. i think it would be sort of the same comments we've been making that we are calling publicly and privately for all groups to be a part of this process. that's why we want to maintain relationships. that's why people like deputy secretary burns but also our iplomats on the ground are engage in the issue every day talking to the different parties and groups and leaders and to push them all to get back to a place where they're part of a process. ecause ultimately, that's what's in the best interest of the egyptian people. >> most stuff, i'm not sure if there's not a comment, if it's say alysis or let's in egyptn of u.s. role
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in particular a lot of people even congressmen on the hill mentioning the -- that the -- our leverage or our shrinking.re do you have anything to say about that? disagree with the notion that they don't have influence or leverage. historic long partnership with the egyptians. part of that is obviously our goes d assistance, but it beyond that. these are long-standing relationships that our folks ave with different egyptian leaders. i think you've seen that from the amount of interaction that's leaders between u.s. and egyptian leaders and we'll continue to work with them going forward. disagree ld strongly with the notion that we've lost all leverage in egypt. a close e have partnership. >> the state department's spokesperson also spoke today the u.s. embassy closures throughout the middle east. >> i don't want to get ahead of this week here.
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a i think we will reiterate point that we made a few times that the preference is to have he embassies and consulates open for that reason. they serve a different purpose ground.on on the i don't want people to think you were leaning towards indefinite the facilities. we're focused on this week. that's why we made a decision to this week indeed many of them will be closed already because of'd. preference inne's this building from the secretary on down is for the embassies and consulates to reopen as soon as possible, as soon as it's safe to do so. continue to provide exactly that kind of support to lookingizens and others to come to the u.s. "washington journal" is live from port of virginia in norfolk to look at port security operations. we'll talk to the interim irector of the port authority, rodney oliver. rigell and can scott
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bobby scott and the president and ceo of the american authorities f port and how ports operate and how the imports and exports that come out of u.s. ports. washington journal is live on c-span every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. a discussion on cybersecurity challenges facing the el electric grid. cia and r from former nsa director, michael hayden. representatives from the energy industry in state governments. live coverage from the center an policy beginning at 9:00 a.m. eastern on the companion network, c-span 2. c-span, defense experts debate looming budget cuts at an event at the brookings institution. he sequestration and the 2011 budget control act, the pentagon will have to cut more than $895 next decade.e join us live if for that
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conversation at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> i am not some sort of anti-suburb person who thinks needs to live in new york city. i was sensitive to coming across espresso sipping condo dwelling, you know, elitist of some kind. did this book.i understand why people like the suburbs. i get fed up with new york city a lot. that there's a shift the way suburban america is who live by the people there is too big of a story to ignore. >> legal ger on where the dream is moving sunday night at 9:00 on "after words" of book tv on c-span 2. days son two of first lay influence & image begins monday ith the look at the life of
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edith roosevelt and encore presentations of season one. easternknight 9:00 p.m. on c-span, programs on every irst lady from martha washington to ida kinley. tonight we start at the beginning on our program on martha washington. >> martha washington was george washington's confidant. >> she was a person very absorbed in duty and very capable. but she didn't like that. she called herself a prisoner of state. >> by the same token that every step washington took to find the office, so in a very real sense it can be said everything martha washington did likewise. >> it was a business-like relationship, but not i think without affection. i think they had deep respect and affection for each other.
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>> it was as close to her home town. she would own most of this block going back a couple acres, which mean she owned a huge chunk of what williamsburg was. there was a lot of tragedy in martha washington's life, she lost her first husband. she was raised a rich woman. now, what that means in 18th century is not necessarily what it means today. >> when she marries george washington she brings with her to mount vernon 12 house slaves, and that is really almost an unimaginable luxury. >> it takes her 10 days to travel here to valley forge from mount vernon, in her carriage with her slaves and servants with her. and this was a difficult journey. >> martha's experience had really prepared her to become the first first lady. >> born in new kent county, virginia in 1731, martha washington was 57 years old in 1789 when she and george
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washington once again left their beloved mount vernon, virginia home in service to the country. this time their destination was new york city, selected as the nation's first capital, where they began the first of their two terms as president and first lady of the united states, setting important precedents for all their successors in the white house. good evening and welcome to c-span's brand-new series "first ladies influence and image." for the next year we're going to be spending time on personal biographies of each of the women who served in that role in the white house, as a window into american history. our first installment, martha washington, of course, and tonight for the next 90 minutes we'll try to serve up the essential martha washington with two people who have come to know her well. presidential historian richard norton smith whose biography of george washington is called patriarch, and patricia brady ho has done a biography of martha washington subtitled an american life. why does martha washington matter? >> she was the first, and she was one of the best.
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those things always count. she was able to help george washington make it through the american revolution and then two awful terms as president. she was his help mate, always. >> richard norton smith, this concept for this series was something that you championed early and really were a guiding light into how c-span might do t. what was your thought as a historian about why studying first ladies should matter in this society we live in today? >> first of all, we don't know enough about them. as individuals. we don't know enough about them for the windows that they open upon their particular periods. individually they're fascinating, collectively it seems to me they provide a way of tracing not only women's history but the history of the country, and any number of political and other institutions as well. but ultimately, i suspect our viewers will be surprised by a lot of the information that
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they hear over the next year. these are surprising stories that we're going to be telling. >> well, for martha washington we went on location to a number of sites important to her biography, and during our next 90 minutes we'll show you some of the video. as we always do on c-span this will be interactive and in a little while we'll begin taking phone calls and we'll tell you how you can be part of that conversation. but you can join immediately by social media, if you're on twitter you can send us a question or comment using the hash tag first ladies. and on facebook, on c-span's site we have a question posted for you of anything you'd like to talk about during martha washington's time or life, and we'll mix those into the discussion as well. we welcome your participation, that's what it's all about here. we're going to spend the first 15 or 20 minutes on the years in the white house, the two terms there. >> not the white house. >> that's right, sorry. the presidential mansion in new york city. 789 she comes to new york city
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a few months behind george washington. let's start by telling us what kind of opinion the american public had of these two people as they took this important role. >> well, the opinion they had of these two had begun with the revolution, and at that point when martha would ride to join her husband as she did every year at the winter camps, there would be, people would just line up, be on every tree on very fence post to look at her. as she said, i felt as though i were a very great somebody. she was somebody for the first time, as his wife. and the newspapers reported on how important it was for him to have her. so they started then and when they came back as president and his lady, they really already had, the public had an opinion of them. they were singular characters. the other politicians were not in the same ballpark at all. > give people a sense of how
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hard it was to make the basic decisions about how the new government would function including this role. >> well, in fact, the decisions about what a republic was, what a president was, were inseparable from many of those that we would perhaps almost condescendingly today attribute to the east wing of the white house. for instance, would the president and first lady accept private dinner invitations. would the president and first lady go to private funerals. what do you call the president? indeed what do you call his consort? the reason why these questions, which seem in some ways trivial to us today matter is because each one of them in their own
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the per cap that income, $437, now interestingly if you look back before the war it was almost double that. so years of war had reduced the per cap that income. if you translated that to 2013 dollars, $11,500, and the largest cities in the country, new york, philadelphia and if you translated that to 2013 dollars, $11,500, and the largest cities in the country, new york, philadelphia and boston. what should we learn about those three large cities?
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>> first of all, let me point out that two of those 13 states were not yet members of the union, the fact is that both north carolina and rhode island held back when the rest of the union adopted the constitution. america was overwhelmingly a rural, rustic agrayingian farm based society. it ended at the appalachian mountains, there were only, in 1800 there were three roads that crossed. the united states was a nation in name only. it was in fact three distinct nations, it was new england, it was the middle states, and it was the south. and each of them had one major, quote, major city, philadelphia as you say the largest city in the nation with all of 40,000 eople. so one of the things that martha washington, i think, frankly found not altogether to her liking was the fact that she was uprooted from the agricultural, rural life at mount vernon that she knew, that she had been born into, that she had mastered in many ays, and relished, and it is only the latest chapter of her sacrifice which in its own way i think you could argue matches
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anything that her husband sacrificed. >> well, that's true. she did not want to go to a city. she did not want to live in the north. she wanted to be home, at mount vernon. but she had to be there with her husband to do what her husband wanted to do. she gave it up. but the thing that made her so very unhappy was to discover once she got there that washington had consulted with john jay and james madison and john adams and they had all decided that presidents could have no personal life. that any entertainment, any going to visit people, any having people in, was in fact a public act. so they couldn't just go hang out with their friends, or ask their friends over. and that was just for one year, that the first year was terrible for her at the same time that it was pretty good for him.
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because jefferson hadn't come back from paris yet. and so that was probably his honeymoon with the presidency. >> let me put a quote in here just to get martha's state of mind about these great restrictions that had been put upon her. this is a quote from her, i never go to the public place, indeed i think i am more like a state prisoner than anything else. a certain balance which i must not depart from and as i cannot do as i like, i am obstinate and i stay home a great deal. >> but you know what, offsetting that, there's a line, so much in common with the entrance to the white house, because first of all it goes to the heart, i think, of who this woman was, and why she was the ideal first first lady. she said in the quote is too good to spoil, but it's very close, she talked about how, experience of her life had taught her that our happiness, our misery depends upon our disposition and not our circumstances. >> very true.
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>> that is a remarkably wise observation. but it's an observation disstilled from a life full of tragedy. she had lost a husband, she lost all four of her children. she lost countless cherished -- >> she lost all of her siblings. >> absolutely. and then she found herself repeatedly uprooted from the life she expected to follow george, either on the battlefield, or a different kind of battlefield together with very little precedent they devised this new government. >> but she chose to follow him. she could have stayed behind so this is a mark of their partnership. >> they were very much partners. he was so miserable until he could get her to join him, wherever he was. but i was going to say about the quote about the prisoner of
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state, that was in the first year in new york, which was the bad year for her, when she was still having to follow the rules of the men. when they went home to mount vernon, she worked on her husband so that when they went to philadelphia the next year, the rules were changed. she wasn't a prisoner. and he was also off on months long tour of the northern, i was going to say colonies, the northern states, attempting to unite the country. so she was depressed and by herself. so she was much less happy at that time than any other time really. >> well, when she moved to philadelphia and became happier, because the restrictions were lifted, also she lived in philadelphia society, knew people there, we're going to next show you a video from philadelphia and get a sense of martha and george washington's life there in the second capital of the united states. >> it's here that martha washington carved out the role of what the wife of the
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president of the united states should do. some of the social events that martha washington would have been responsible for overseeing are state dinners that were held weekly on thursdays, as well as the drawing room receptions martha washington personally organized every friday evening. the state dinners would have been events that martha would have had to help to coordinate, these took place on thursdays every week. just above this dining room up on the second floor was a drawing room, and that's where martha washington held her drawing room receptions on friday. those events were a little more informal as compared to the state dinners down here, and george washington was always in attendance. he probably preferred those social engagements on friday more than the events he held here in this room, because they were informal in nature.
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the events were open to the public, anyone of social standing was welcome to attend. and most people remarked that george washington was more at ease with his wife martha washington at his side. we know martha washington was among a household of as many as 30 people. this included paid servants, indentured servants and enslaved people from mount vernon. but one of the most well-known was oney judge, she was a personal maid to martha. and because of the nature of her duties it's very likely that she would have slept right here in the house. in the time that martha washington was here in philadelphia, oney judge run as way, she escapes to claim her freedom. this was a major blow to ma that washington, she felt very betrayed and she had promised oney to her granddaughter once married. >> washington's life in
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philadelphia what did you want to comment about that? >> i need to say something there, which is about sappy 19th century images, that the 19th century liked the idea of having an almost regal republican court here. there was no dias in those rooms, there was no place where they stood raised above the others, nor did she stand. she sat on a sofa, and guests came and met her there and then walked around the room as they pleased. but the idea that it was somehow so regal is so wrong, it was not. >> and also it's so frustrating, that anyone who has dealt with the primary sources from this period, we're grateful for ba we have, but we're constantly hungering for more, because we have countless second hand reports from events like this, and they're unanimous. everyone talks about what a charming conversationalist
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martha was, how she was always cheerful, how she was always interested in her guests. >> her smile. her beautiful teeth. not many people had beautiful teeth then. >> it's also important as we talk about her interaction with the american public, the slaves, that they brought with them, we just heard the story of one, oni judge, is a good entry point to talk about martha and george washington's relationship with enslaved people. >> when they married they felt the same, they had grown up in virginia, a good part of the wealth of virginia was built on the labor and the persons of enslaved black people. and so they agreed with it. at that time washington was rather strict with his slaves. but as time went on, his views started to change, he was the only one of the founding fathers who freed his
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laves. the rest kept them until they died. her opinions didn't change. it was a very unfortunate, i wanted it to be different, and i looked for, i read every word could find, and the one slave that she actually owned personally she did not free. she left to her grandson. and so the truth is she felt that it was the way society was supposed to be and that she was, oney judge had let her down pause she had always been kind to her and she didn't understand that oney wanted to be free, that she wanted to learn to read and write, and that she wanted to find christ in her own way. >> in a lot of ways i think it can be said of washington as it can be said later on of lincoln that he outgrew the racist coach that produced him. and one major reason was
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because during the revolution, after having initially turned thumbs down to the idea of recruiting free blacks, the fact of the matter is that african-americans played a vital role in the winning of the revolution. washington saw firsthand what these people were capable of doing. he saw the courage, he saw the sacrifice, he saw the -- they were humanized in a way that quite frankly on the plantation was not possible. so life taught him a lesson in some ways very different from martha. >> the washingtons spent the entire second term in philadelphia. your chapter on that is the torments of the second term. one of the things we so often don't learn about was about the rials of things like epidemics. philadelphia's population was more than decimated, 12% died in the early part of that time. what was life like there? >> well, yellow fever is one of those diseases that one tends to think of as a southern, a caribbean disease, new orleans has yellow fever.
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but the east coast of the united states was frequently struck with yellow fever, and it was the yellow fever was killing people right and left. alexander hamilton had a very bad case but survived. so that was part of the torment. but the real torment for washington was to see that his friends and his, the men he respected instead of all coming together to make a new form of government, were falling apart into two parties. he with a never have believed that jefferson and madison and hamilton would become enemies of one another and that they would be doing everything they could to keep each other out of office instead of working together. >> before we leave this section, because we're going to begin working our way back through earlier parts of her life, you mentioned adams. and in fact martha washington had a relationship with abigail adams, and i was, have to say a little tickled to fine out
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there was almost a sister hood of revolutionary ladies. can you tell us more about who was in that and how they interacted with one another? >> they really had a lot in common. they were both wives who were partners. they were not wives who were stuck to the side and left out of everything. nd they both were deeply committed to the idea of this new republic, that's something they cared about. >> they were very political in that sense. >> they were very political in that way. and they also helped each other socially. abigail was extremely pleased and tickled by the fact that er place was to the right of martha washington on the sofa, and that if another lady came up and took her place before she arrived that the president himself would ask her to leave so that abigail could sit there. so she almost had a crush on martha washington. said she was a wonderful person, which she was. >> also abigail adams has left up delightful accounts of life
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in philadelphia, including the friday night receptions. but the one person who escapes her occasionally harsh tongue invariably is martha, and she talks about martha washington, she said she didn't have not a tincture of hauteur about her, a wonderful phrase, but even now it does evoke the sense this woman who have have been -- could have been queen, george washington could have within king, she could have been queen, and not the least of their accomplishments is that each refused the crown. >> last question on this section for now on the white house years. you paint the portrait that george washington was a robust subscriber to newspapers of the time, and read them and that martha washington devoured the papers as well. >> she did, she loved to read.
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she read a lot. when she didn't actually read the papers herself, washington would frequently spend an evening reading aloud to her and whoever else was there, and he would read a story and then they would all talk about it. so she was not a person who was out of what was going on in politics at all. >> that doesn't mean she liked what she read. >> how did the press read her? >> well, actually, she had some criticism, but certainly from an early date even in new york, was again this quote, democratic with a small d, kind of jeffersonian element who were always on the lookout for anything that seemed monarchical, and there were those who thought believe it or not the president's weekly assembly and her dinners and friday night receptions and the fact a he rode in a carriage, that somehow they lumped all
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this together and suspected aristocratic if not royalist inclinations. so they were always on the lookout for that, not so much directed at the first lady per say, as the administration that she represented. >> the difference, richard, i think from martha and every other first lady beginning with abigail is that these were private comments, and that others made private unpleasant comments about her. that it didn't appear in the papers. nobody said, oh, she's so uppity, so full of herself, or whatever they might want to say about her, that wives were off limits. but once the adams came in, no, from then on wives have been fair game. >> i want to give you the phone lines, in about 10 minutes we're going to go to your calls and you can join in. if you live in the eastern or central time zones, 02-585-3880.
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mountain or pacific, 202-585-3881. you can tweet us, hash tag first ladies, or post on facebook, and lots of ways to be involved. well, williamsburg, virginia was the place where george and martha met. we're going to learn a little more about martha washington's life in williamsburg next. >> williamsburg is as close to her home town as martha washington would ever get. she was connected with this place from well before she was born. her great grandfather, roland jones, was the first recognize for of the parish church from about 1664 to 1688, you can't et morel bedded in the life of this town than that. her grandfather orlando jones we have his house that is reconstructed here on duke of gloucester street and they owned a plantation at queens creek outside of town. then their daughter frances married john dandridge, who was an up and coming planter and
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they moved to new kent county, which is no more than 30 miles away. and that's where martha was, that's where that that was born at chestnut grove. and her growing up there, williamsburg was then the center of political and social and cultural life in all of virginia, but certainly in this part of virginia. so given the fact that her father was engaged in a lot of political and economic activity, this is the place where she would have come to more often than any other place. >> this was the area where she kind of was born to, because if you were anyone in society you came to williamsburg if you were from new kent. her mother certainly being a williamsburg society, when she became of the age where she was being brought into society, she was being brought to the balls and the assemblies here. she was at the balls at the royal governor's palace, she was certainly at the assemblies at places like the raleigh tavern.
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so when it's time to be brought out into polite society, williamsburg was the place to be because her mother knew that williamsburg was where her daughter needed to be. martha falls in love with daniel custis, that's her first husband, who is, she knows as a farmer, a plantation owner, a man of new kent. but what she doesn't know is that daniel custis is the son of john custis, who owned seven properties here in williamsburg. all the northern neck, most of the eastern shore, and she falls in love with his son daniel thinking he's just this man from new kent. when daniel goes to his father and says i want to marry martha dandridge, john custis basically says oh, her family is not fortuned enough to marry into the custises, and he said no. but the dandridges were well-known, her father was a clerk of new kent. martha was well-known for amiable personality.
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with that warm nature that people really fell in love with her, so john blair and john proctor go to john custis on martha's behalf and says if you just meet this girl, you'll change your mind about her. and i'd love to go back in history and find out what the meeting between john custis and martha dandridge was like, because whatever she said to this man he said she was the most amiable young girl and he could not see his son marrying anything better than the young dandridge girl. >> i think we can kind of see williamsburg as her proper home away from home. i mean this is the place where she owned property, she owned a house, and which her first husband and her children are purr read right outside of town. all of her family, her closest members of her family are within 20 or 30-miles of williamsburg. so she can easily reconnect with them.
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>> we're in the parish church in williamsburg, which in many ways is martha washington's home church. her great grandfather was the first minister of brutan parish church, roland jones, he's buried on the inside. her grandparents, orlando jones and his wife, they're both buried here inside the church, and probably more closely connected to martha washington than anybody else other than george washington is her first husband and their first two children. this is the final resting place f daniel park custis, martha washington's first husband, this particular stone was ordered from, was ordered for him from london. and although he and both of their first two children, their first son and first daughter, were first interred at their plantation outside of williamsburg, their remains and these stones were moved here to basically her family church in the early part of the 20th century.
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this is the custis ten meant, this is one of the buildings that martha washington owned here in williamsburg. in fact she owned most of this whole block going back a couple of acres, which means she owned a huge chunk of what williamsburg was. martha washington stayed here off and on throughout most of her life, because williamsburg as the political, social and cultural center of her world. so she was here when her husband daniel park custis was a prominent member of this community, and of course she was here very often when george washington was a member of the house of burgesses when he was a political leader in the con one, and of course in order to be able to protect and promote her own business interests in the area. >> some beautiful scenes of colonial williamsburg, as it's preserved today. what about her williamsburg years were important to the woman she became as first lady? >> i think unone of the first
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things you have to realize is that she was a teenager when she became the fiancee of daniel park custis. and he was 20 years older. he was a bachelor because his dad never let him marry, nobody was good enough. and so not only did she overcome this elite presently dison the part of his father, but she helped bring him into a real life in his late 0's with the children and everything else. but he was so rich, he was so much richer than most people around, she came from a lower general try family, they were not so rich. and she learned how to manage property and to manage money, and to take care of things that would serve her really well for the rest of her life. she was smart. as far as money went. >> 25 when she became a widow? >> yes, but one statistic, to put this in perspective, mound vernon at its peak was about 8,000 acres. well, daniel park custis when hey were married, and martha
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was 19 years old, brought 18,000 acres into this marriage. and the video, which is wonderful, if anything it under stated just how curmudgeonly and thoroughly marveled daniel's father was. his tombstone today has an inscription that he wrote which announces that he had never been happy except when living apart from his wife. they had a tempes you the us relationship, and so whatever it was that this 18, 19-year-old young woman was able to say, made an amazing impression that nobody would have predicted. tells you something about, you know -- >> the force of her
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character. >> and her personality. >> so she becomes a very, very wealthy widow, perhaps the most wealthy in the virginia colony at age 25. so she was quite a catch. what was it about george washington that she saw and was attracted to? >> i think it was mostly that he was such a hunk, you know, he was six foot two in a time when most men were five eight, five nine. a wonderful horseman, wonderful athlete, fabulous dancer. very charming. and he really liked women, he loved to talk to women always his whole life long. and he had begun to show the kind of leadership that he would later show more of. but in the estimation of those days he was the lucky one. she was the catch. rather than he. >> a colonel at the time. distinguished military career.
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>> but he would also be a real catch in the sense that, remember she had four children by daniel custis. two of whom died. quite young. and two of whom survived. for now. and of course she had all that property, and so george washington would also fulfill vital roles even as a partner. >> he was so clearly from the time he was really young a person of such integrity. >> on that note, just so people get a sense of what life was like for women in early america, women had what kind of property rights? >> well, as a widow she was in fine shape, because her husband did not leave any kind of trustee. she could do what she wanted to. >> was that common? >> fairly common. it was much more common, though, to leave male trustees. he just didn't get around to
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writing his will in time. but once william married, then they became -- which meant that they were covered women and that all of their financial and any other kind of dealings were carried out by their husbands. >> she had a dower of the estate, basically a third. but she had a lifetime interest in, and that included, in her ase about 85 slaves. the rest had to be managed for her children. >> our twitter community is really enjoying your comment of george washington as a hunk. >> he was. >> we often see pictures of martha washington such as the portrait we have on the screen right now. in your biography you have a very different, very attractive martha washington. how accurate is this portrayal? >> very accurate. and people have criticized and said why do you have to show her young?
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well, we all start young. you're not born 65 years old. and jump out of the womb with the mob cap on. that it was important to show what she looked like as a beautiful young woman. so i took a picture from mount vernon to the faces lab at l.s.u. which is forensic anthropology, and they about an age regression to show what she actually looked like at 25. i wanted to say, well what did george see when the door was open and he walked into the drawing room? what kind of woman did he set eyes on? it was not the gilbert security old lady, it was a beautiful young woman. >> about the children marks that washington had four, she outlived all of them. but by the time she met george there were two living children. for both of you, what was his attitude toward these children, did he take them on as his own? >> he really did.
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of course later on, famously, in effect adopted the grandchildren. washington loved children. i think washington was rather sensitive to the fact that he ad no children of his own, and hat would be a subject of pure speculation, which hasn't prevented historians from speculating. but the fact is he treated her children very much as if they were his own. it's interesting, by one estimate she brought 20,000 pounds to their marriage, and he spent a good deal of that immediately sending away to orders for toys, for wax dolls, for patsy. the daughter. and he spent time with them. and of course lost both of them. it was a shattering experience. patsy, who died, it's believed of epilepsy. one day at dinner. and the verdigre dining oom.
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then jackie, who had not participated in the revolution until the very end, and joined his stepfather's staff, came down with most people think tyfus, with some sort of camp fever and died a few days later. >> but this is very common of the period. the average life expect tan sit would have been at that time about what, mid 50's, mid 06's? >> well, except you need to think of the fact that a large part of those in the death, the mortality figures are young children who died before they were 5 or 6. the death rate among young children, and also in women giving birth who so frequently died in childbirth, that those figures are skewed. if you lived beyond 6 and if you survived childbirth, then the chances of your living up into the 70's were fine. >> and washington men really lived beyond the 50's, which is one more reason why he was reluctant to take the presidency.
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he had a sense that he was living on borrowed time at 57. >> well, time for some phone calms from folks watching us around the country. the first up is jennifer, who is in watertown, south dakota. hi, what's your question? >> hi. i was wondering what martha's relationship was to general washington's staff, people like alexander hamilton, and maybe some of the politicians around them, the younger politicians like monroe and maybe madison, especially considering that she did lose her children. >> well, that's a great question, because from the time she first gave birth at 18, 19, she was a really wonderful mother. she doted on her children, her grand chin, her nieces, her
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nephews. and i've said that during the war with the young officers, that she was more or less like a house mother at a fraternity, that she looked after these young men and she saw to it that they ate enough and had dry socks, and they did all the important things. and concerned herself with them in that way. and forever afterward the young men of those days remembered her as their mother, as their foster mother. >> she also had a sense of humor. alexander hamilton loved the ladies, and they returned his interest. and at one point, this is before hamilton married betsy skylar, and any way martha had a very amorous tom cat that she named hamilton, in tribute to the future secretary of the treasury. >> hi, tom from bethesda, you're on. >> thank you very much. there was a very special
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relationship between george washington and the marquis de lafayette. how did martha washington get along with lafayette and his family? >> i'll be happy to. he was another of the young men that she became a mother to. when he came, he was although the richest men in france, he was one of the most unhappy. he was escaping from persecution by his in-laws, and by the court. and he came there as a young man, he was 18 years old when she finally met him. and she saw him as another son, she treated him that way. and he loved it, he saw part of that as what america was like, where people could be made over. and he could be made over. >> he also is one of the many observers, one of the better observers who gives us a window on the relationship between the washingtons. he write is a letter, people ask why did martha spend every winter of the revolution with washington, and lafayette said
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it was simple, that she loved her husband madly. >> madly. >> our next call comes from montpelier, virginia, home of thomas jefferson and another pat. you're on, pat. good evening. >> hi. i had read washington, about two months ago and at that time he mentioned that the judge woman left because martha had told her she was going to pack her on -- pass her on down to her daughter and that she trusted and liked martha but she didn't want to work for the daughter. >> that is actually her granddaughter. the daughter was many years dead by then. martha had three granddaughters. and the eldest one, eliza, was fairly bad tempered, and very capricious, and i don't think anybody much would have wanted to work for her, much less belong to her.
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certainly when she was told that eliza had requested her and that she was going to, when they went home that she would be going to live with eliza when she got married, she decided enough was enough. and took off. >> the montpelier folks are going to be yelling at me. shame on me. monticello is actually jefferson's home. >> just to round out the only story, friends of hers who basically smuggled her to portsmouth, new hampshire i believe it was and then there was this conundrum, because mrs. washington wanted her back. and indeed wanted the president to advertise for her return. and it put washington in a very awkward situation. >> ann arbor, michigan up next, nancy, what's your question? >> hi, i'm a public historian who likes to think about how women are represented in historic sites. wonder what you folks thought
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about how historic sites deal with first ladies, particularly martha washington, do you think she's well represented? or are there other things we can do to talk about what she did and how she was a help mate to her husband? >> well, i certainly think in philadelphia, for example, that it would be good to see more done about martha washington as the first lady there. but at mount vernon they've done an incredible job. mount vernon is really the leader among all the historical houses in the nation. and they have an actress who portrays martha washington very beautifully. and they really make clear how important she was, that she was not just a hostess. >> next up is shirley, watching us in tucson. hi, you're on. >> yes, i'd like to ask a question about the custis league mansion in arlington, arlington house.
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>> have you been to visit it? >> pardon me? >> have you been to visit it? >> oh, yes, several times. i grew up in washington area, and i was just there and i saw that it was being renovated. and i was just curious. i don't really remember all the why, it was in the custis amily. >> well, because martha's grandson, washington custis, who was adopted along with his sister nelly, but by the washingtons and lived with them throughout their lives, when he after the washingtons died and he was on his own, he decided to build a beautiful mansion which he did and called, and was arlington. so this was the custis mansion. it in fact never belonged to robert lee. robert married mary custis' daughter and cared for it and lived there when he wasn't out on the frontier some place building buildings and all. but it passed from washington custis to his daughter mary, to the lees' son. lee himself was more of a that caretaker, but he's the most
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famous of them all so his name is included. >> also if you want to humanize the washingtons, it's a wonderful universal story about how george and martha agreed to disagree about george washington park custis, known as young wash, or tub, who was i think most people agree spoiled royally by his grandmother. he was in and out of school, and wrote these wonderful letters in which washington is pouring out the benefit of his life's experience about how if you work a whole day long it's amazing how much can you get done, et cetera, et cetera, totally waisted on tub, who would go onto become famous for his connection to george washington.
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>> when the new couple married, george washington was in the process of building mount vernon. and -- >> well, mount vernon existed as a four-room farmhouse, but it was in the process of adding a second story, so then it was an eight-room house with an attic area at the top. >> doing that to bring his new wife there? >> it was paid for himself too, i think it was partly his pride, that he doesn't want to be marrying a witch woman and using her money to make his house. i think it was to show that he too had a lot to offer. >> both of you have spent hundreds of hours at mount vernon. is it fair to call it the center piece of the washingtons' existence? >> oh i think. so. >> definitely, of course. >> yes, it was the north star. the place they always wanted to return to, the place they were happiest. and yet it's remarkable, not to jump ahead, but after the
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president died, maybe the greatest sacrifice of all that martha was asked to make and yet the last ultimate she was willing to have his remains removed from mount vernon, and moved to the new capitol building in washington d.c. fortunately that never happened. bureaucracy took over. >> shows how bad politics sometimes works out well. they got to arguing, so they did not take him away. >> well, let's show you next some of the views of mount vernon, when we visited it with our cameras. >> it's clear that after martha arrives at mount vernon in april of 1759, there's a lot of management that she has to do. when she marries george washington, she brings with her to mount vernon 12 house slaves, and that is really almost an unimaginable luxury. these are slaves who for the most part are not field labor, are not producing crops, which
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is where your income is coming from. they are doing things like cooking, serving at table, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, doing sewing. this is not productive labor in the sense of it's not producing income. so she brings those slaves with her and she brings financial resources to the marriage as well as her managerial skills, makes mount vernon a successful operation and makes it possible for washington to be aaway for eight years fighting a war. so the fact that washington has this support system that enabled him to volunteer his time and talents to run the revolution is clearly critical. for a manager who during most of the revolution has, a distant cousin of george washington and later in the 1780's, the farm manager is george augustine washington who is washington's nephew. and he ends up marrying fanny bassett who is martha washington's neice. so i think that tells you something about the closeness of some of the family relationships. but it's clear from the correspondence that she was a take-charge woman. in terms of her interaction with the slaves, she's nteracting with the cooks in
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the kitchen, the maids who are serving in the house, there are also slave women who are spinning on a continual basis to produce yarn. she's supervising what the gardeners are doing. that -- martha was a lover of cut flowers, she liked having a kitchen garden that she could bring in vegetables that they'd serve. she's the one who is really planning the menus. there are a lot of levels that she is working with. so it's a big operation. really the center of her whole ife. >> so if you visit mount vernon today, and with years of
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additional documentary research, how close is it to recreating the life that george and martha washington experienced? >> nothing today can recreate the life of that time. because, for one thing, they would have to take all the motorized vehicles away, they would have to have haystacks, manure piles, outdoor toilets. there was so much about the life that was so much more primitive than it is. but as close as you can today, it's very good. it is the leader in historical houses. >> george washington's crops were what and what kind of businessman was he? >> actually, that's one of the aspects of his life that is least understood. he was, for those who think of him as a reflexive conservative, they should tike at his approach to agriculture, which is probably the thing he loved the most.
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he had a great passion for it. he was a real experimental farmer. he realized, for example, that, which is not great fertile soil to begin with, was being exploited by tobacco, that tobacco really should be a crop of the past. and he experimented with over 60 different crops to see what would work best. the other thing, a quick point i want to make was the apprenticeship that running mount vernon offered, if there was an ad for first lady in 1789, martha washington's prior xperience really qualified her uniquely. and one of the things that she did, if you go to mount vernon today you'll notice there are two in effect wings that were added during the revolution, which by the way she oversaw the construction. there's the dining room, which is a very public space, and
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then there's a very private wing that contains their bedroom and his study. and one of the jobs she had, they had 600 people a year, strangers, who showed up, just because they wanted to see the most famous man on earth, they were all welcome, they were all greeted, most of them were fed, given a bed overnight, but even washington got sick of the demands. so he would disappear in the evening, he'd go to his study and work, leaving martha to converse with the visitors. >> martha washington and george's bedroom was one of the other videos we chose, because there's so much to see there. let's watch that now. >> the room that we refer to and show off in the mansion as the washington's bed chamber is a room that was part of the south wing of the mansion here at mount vernon that was started in 1775, right before george washington left to participate in the continental
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congress and the revolutionary war. george washington does always refer to it as mrs. washington's chamber. and it's clear that it was kind of the center, her nerve center for mount vernon. so the sort of daily routine was that when mrs. washington got out she typically spent time in that chamber, during her hour of spiritual meditation, perhaps later in the day bringing letters, talking with her cooks to plan menus for the day. giving assignments for what was to be done that day. when her grandchildren were young we know she also used that room for teaching them, reading them stories. sewing in the afternoons, and so you can really imagine how wonderful it would have been in that room. one of the most notable pieces is the bed that is in that bed chamber. that is the bed on which george washington died. but we also know from martha washington's will that she had a personal will in acquiring
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that bed, which is a bit larger than the typical dimensions for an 18th century bed. so it seems perhaps that she's getting kind of a custom made bed for her quite tall husband. another piece in the room that has a very close connection with martha washington is her desk. although very little of the close bond between george and martha washington has survived because martha washington estroyed their private letters, it was in that desk that they found one of the letters that had slipped behind the drawers, that's kind of the preserver of that little bit of very personal correspondence. i can picture her sitting in the easy chair by the fire with her grandchildren rather than, so we can imagine how
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comfortable it husband have been for martha washington. >> george and washington washington's bedroom at mount vernon. one of the things that's mentioned is her morning meditations, which seem to be a sacred time for her throughout her life. what do we know of what she did? >> she was a member of the church of england, and after the revolution she became a member of the american piscopal church. and she had several bibles, she read the bible, she also read the book of common prayer. she spent a lot of time also reading other books about the episcopal point of view. and she was a very, very deeply religious but not judgmental woman. >> what about that video is important to tell people more of their room together in the life they had? >> that's, well, the fact that she burned all their correspondence is a metaphor, that's where they could be themselves. and i think one reason she
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burned those letters is because hat was the unvarnished george washington. it wasn't simply the uniquely intimate relationship that existed between them, she was the only person on earth to whom washington could confess his doubts, his fears, his opinions of his colleagues, you name it. >> but this is the interesting thing about that. then they both had a sense that they were creating an image larger than his lifetime, that they didn't want to be spoiled -- >> she was very careful of his papers, as was he. they were always kept in a big trunk, and when they seemed they would be in danger the trunk was removed. that building his image, but a truthful image, having the letters, showing him as a
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military man and as a political man were important. but as far as she was concerned, their private life was just that. that ladies did not prom made about letting their husband's love letters be read. or when they complained or whatever else they did, those were private. and she had not enough privacy in her life. without asking her. he's writing and saying my dearest. i had to accept this. my honor required it. plus my dear patsy, don't be
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angry with me. he goes on about why it's important and why she needs to support him. and before he goes off to be the leader of the war, he goes out and buys things for her to make nice dresses out of it. that's a husband worth having. >> >> they were not young at this point at all. go back to our viewer calls. >> am i talking to somebody? >> you are live on tv right now. do you have a question? >> yes, please. my name is gael. i have a couple of questions. i'm reading a very nice easy book called mt. vernon love story by mary